Retail Politik Matrix - Branson Missouri Campaign Analysis Purvis/Williams Critique

Campaign Analysis 4 M's Money - Media - Message - Machine

Media - Never got traction, Purvis took the most direct hits and Williams with frequency. Williams couldn't purchase what negative PR was generated. I know because I wrote some of it. When Stephen Marshall debated the Hilton's laundry budget, I blasted that over the front page! Good stuff. The message is time. Sixty days before election I told Jack Purvis that I wasn't going to help him, but 6 - 9 and 12 months before the election I advised Purvis how to engage the press. Two terms ago, Purvis ran on a platform to stop the Branson Landing. He flipped positions when he got into office, which he claims was a decision he made to . If Mitt Romney taught us one thing - it's that you can flip-flop all the way the Governor's office. If you can become the governor of Massachusetts flip-flopping your way to the top - certainly you can flop back - Purvis never flopped back.
Here's where Marc Williams tried to steal the master dialogue. The greatest conflict Williams was associated with - through other business relationships - is the 150 ft. ordinance. If you followed the video links below you'd here Jack Herschend recommend Branson adopt themed development. This statement epitomizes the hard right of the conservative movement. Technically, the last media buy was good, but wasn't utilized on the fly. Think about it - how long does it take to record a commercial. Days before election Williams fielded an attack mailer with a counter attack. The sheer logistics of launching a direct mail campaign on the fly was impressive. Why wasn't the radio message altered to maneuver with current events. Newspaper? This is an important attribute of retail politicking - a catchy response on the fly. This would have been Marc Wiliams best message:

"Hi I'm Marc Williams. I'm the proud father of three beautiful daughters and two smart ones. My friends and I got super rich off building the Branson Landing. They said we couldn't do it, but we did. I care about Branson because financially I'm more invested in this community than the local theatre manager, the ducks guy, the electric company employee the John Q Hammons hotel manager and the angry ex city clerk.
Also, I negotiated such a great deal with the City of Branson that I thoroughly understand the weaknesses at City Hall.
Did I work on behalf of an evil corporation successfully negotiating a 165 million dollar tax credit from the state of Missouri and the City of Branson - Yes. Who likes to pay taxes? If you like tax increases vote for the other guy. As for me, I'm a Certified Public Accountant - I've made my living understanding complex financing mechanisms and helping people gain control of their financial future. If you think I negotiated a great deal on behalf of my corporation - imagine what I could do for you.
I'm leaving HCW, it's made me rich and I want Branson to have a rich future. For some politicians spending tax dollars is a game. We don't hate the player, we hate the game - and taxing you is a game I'll refuse to play. Vote Williams - for your wallet.

Let's Review:
The high frequency of radio and newspaper impressions delivered during the last week of campaigning and fueled by a large budget - outspending his opponent 7 to 1 wasn't utilized.

Jack Purvis refused to buy newspaper ads. I counted for a slaughter but Taney County voter turnout was ...what 10%? This is why the spread surprised me. I thought Purvis would have been mopped up. Psst... if Mayor Raeanne Presley personally stopped to speak with merchants and reportedly said, "I'm not happy with HCW..." - you shouldn't get mad - this is unproductive. The secret weapon I would have used is the cities polling. Purvis should have went door to door with the city questionnaire and bragged about the work he and Bob McDowell did to make sure the citizens voice was heard. When they say they haven't received one, make sure you let them know you'll bring it personally to city hall. Pick it up the next day - if they fill it out - they like to vote and those are the people you want to talk to. On the last day I told Purvis what I would have done. He got really angry saying, " I could have used that a month ago". Truth be known, he never listens to me anyway - but was the stongest sitting alderman when it came to knowledge of the Missouri Legislature. When it comes to federal and international politics - Ward III Stephen Marshall is light years ahead of this crop.

Money - Marc Williams wins his ward - on record, he dropped 20 grand - when it's all counted, I'm estimating 25, unfortunately, in this race, money couldn't tip the scales.
Jack Purvis loses the money race. His intention, if he won another term as Branson Ward II was to unseat Rep. Dennis Wood during the 2010 race for the Missouri House. The media was ruthless with him and he gave up early - never asked anyone for a dime. Also, he never took advantage of his positions as the incumbent and failed to address the press properly. The incumbent can generate thousands of dollars worth of exposure if the plan early enough.

Message - Marc Williams never spun his financial ties to HCW which was the focal point of his competitors attacks. An alternative approach, to the customized message above, "Rick Huffman is evil which is why I'm leaving my job as a corporate whore to work for the citizens. If you join me, I'll help stop Rick Huffman and his evil plans to build high rise buildings" At night they could meet together to exchange jokes over a drink.
Jack Purvis's big trouble came when he started talking about increasing wages. This is generally a bad idea and probably why Lobbyist Chip Mason felt compelled to purchase local politicians. Generally, the Branson Chamber of Commerce - or as I call it - "Branson's 17 million dollar sacred leprechaun" doesn't like discussions about raising pay.

Machine - Apparently Jack Purvis has an underground network. The social conservatives leaned his direction. Bohinc had a script plotted by Lobbyists and sitting leaders. Though I detest the way the campaign was conducted - in the dark - the message team Raeanne Presley and Sandra Williams delivered resonated well. They got by on the philosophy that retail is an auxiliary to the theatre industry. The old watch heavily promoted Rick Davis financially and through influence. Strong political machines surfaced for everyone but Purvis. Davis had stronger grass roots machinery and Williams benefited from a talented staff of pros.


On election I was at a watch party hosted by Marc Williams. Forever the accountant (Williams is a CPA) predicted a loss - 60% going to his rival after Poll Close. The spread was higher

"The morning numbers were positive in our favor, but after the rain cleared...."

Jack Purvis, who arrived later in the evening said, "he wouldn't do anything different".

The analysis posted above is a response.